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Weekends With Alex Witt

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Clinton 25, Washington 14, U.s. 10, Florida 8, America 6, Benghazi 6, Alabama 6, Obama Administration 5, Virginia 5, D.c. 5, T.j. Holmes 5, Alex Witt 5, T.j. 5, Kristen Welker 4, Chantix 4, Afghanistan 4, San Francisco 4, Chambliss 4, Mississippi 4, Louisiana 4,
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  MSNBC    Weekends With Alex Witt    News  News/Business. New.  

    January 26, 2013
    9:00 - 11:00am PST  

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you name it...i've hooked it. but there's one... one that's always eluded me. thought i had it in the blizzard of '93. ha! never even came close. sometimes, i actually think it's mocking me. [ engine revs ] what?! quattro!!!!! ♪ hello there, everybody. it is high noon in the east, 9:00 out west. wherever you are we're glad you're right here. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." i'm t.j. holmes in for alex
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today. stories at this hour, the president and his outgoing secretary of state in a first primetime interview. proposed gop rules that would have resulted in a different presidential pick. no lottery tickets for welfare recipients. also apple loses its title. and tina turner is ditching her u.s. passport. say it ain't so. first let's get to that joint television interview with president obama and secretary of state hillary clinton. and some revealing new details about their working relationship. listen. >> i think hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we've had. it has been a great collaboration over the last four years. >> a few years ago it would have been seen as improbable. because we have that very long, hard, primary campaign. in politics and in democracy, sometimes you win elections, sometimes you lose elections. and i worked very hard, but i lost. and then president obama asked me to be secretary of state. and i said yes. and why did he ask me and why
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did i say yes? because we both love our country. >> let me bring in political reporter for "u.s. news and world report" lauren fox and white house reporter david nakimura. david the first sit down interview the president has done with anyone other than the first lady. why do this? why do it now? >> i think t.j. the timing is secretary of state has served for four years. now she's leaving. she's had a bit of a tough run lately with her personal health and the situation in benghazi where the consulate came under attack. four diplomats were killed. she was in a hearing just last week. i think the president wanted to sit down and show a real thanks first of all and a show of support as she leaves. it will be interesting obviously as speculation comes in a couple of years whether she'll run for president against possibly the vice president. but in this case, i think that secretary of state alluded to this in the interview.
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they were a team of rr rivals w they came in. >> lauren, you take that as well what this was was kind of a thank you? kind of him showing appreciation? do you read much else into the fact they sat down together? >> i think americans watching this interview will definitely see that there's a little bit of a hint to 2016. perhaps she will run, perhaps she won't. she hasn't been clear about that. she had a tough week on capitol hill. the gop definitely took their opportunity to kind of smear her legacy a bit as the secretary of state. so i think what we're seeing here is a vote of confidence from the president. and i think that that is going to be maybe a little bit of a preview of what we can see in 2016. >> you said a hint there. it seems like anything that hillary clinton does, if she orders a cheeseburger people will be talking about what that means for 2016. another topic, lauren stay with you. some in the gop are actually trying to change the rules. i'm going to put a map up. it seems the gop can't win according to the current rules so they're trying change them.
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we got a handful of states now considering abandoning this winner take call, the electoral college. instead they want to allocate electoral votes according to congressional districts. we have a handful of states doing this now. lauren, do you see this as something that could gain steam and have a real impact on our elections down the road? >> governor bob mcdonnell of virginia said this week yesterday this is not something he can support, nor is this something that's on his agenda. and echoing that statement in florida the house speaker there who's also a republic said they're not seriously considering. this i don't think this will be a fight this year. >> just david for i say the fun of it here. still this is kind of serious. if this had been implemented in all 50 states, all right? if they had a change and aborti apportioned it differently mitt romney would have won the election last year instead of obama even though the president would have won the popular vote.
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now, anyone taking this a little more seriously, maybe even at the white house at this point, david, the people are going to pay a little more attention to this? >> the white house didn't really address it at all this week, t.j. jay carney was asked about this yesterday at his daily briefing at the white house. he said i haven't even brought this up with the president. the president in his inaugural address mentioned voting but better access for people who were unable to vote. some of the states denying voting rights for certain types of people. that's where the white house is throwing their focus. carney said he didn't have any personal reaction. referred to a tweet from david axelrod the president's campaign adviser who said it was another attempt for the gop to hold the system hostage and to redistricting which he said is already going on with congress. it would be a bad precedent. then you'd see every four years there was a new governor and party in power each state trying to change it back depending on how they could win the white house. i don't think it will be getting a lot of support from this white
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house. >> not really on their agenda. not really on the front page, the front burner i should say for the white house but you're talking about in your latest article is comprehensive immigration reform. it seems there may be really a bipartisan approach right now. from what it looks like at this point, because there is some kind of a -- there is a bipartisan working group working to put something out. does it look like we have a really good chance now at comprehensive immigration reform because of the dynamic now and because republicans understand they need to do something to change the face of their party, to show and to reach out to latino voters or they may be extinct here over the next several years. republicans at least. >> i think everybody thinks there's a lot of momentum. the president will speak about immigration, his ideas on tuesday in las vegas. and then what we wrote about was there's this bipartisan working group in the senate, three democrats, three republicans, who could come out as early as next friday with their principles. those have to do with what do we do with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are
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here? there's talk even among marco rubio how to get them legalization. they're not leaving anytime soon. no one expects that probably. so i think there's going to be in the principles a way to talk about a path to legalization number one and possibly citizenship. it's still a controversial issue, other issues such as verifying workers for businesses, those are the principles that are going to be talked about by the bipartisan group. there's a lot of hope that is going to be the kickoff to some legislative bill that could get support in the senate and possibly give some republicans in the house who might be willing to vote for it but looking for the senate to lead on this. i think this is a big week. >> lauren one more last thing to you. your latest article as well, maybe a name in there a lot of americans might not be that familiar with but he has certainly been playing a role in our politics because of how much money he's able to throw around. he's already talking about throwing some more money around in 2014. >> you're talking about foster
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freese who kept rick santorum in the republican primary that he wouldn't have survived without the money. he donated $2.5 million. probably more than. but he's definitely got his eye on 2014 with a specific focus on the u.s. senate. some folks who we may not even know of as candidates yet. he said he's definitely looking for people who haven't come out of the woodwork yet. we'll have to keep a cry on what he's doing in 2014. >> know you will. lauren, david, good to see you both. thanks so much. other news now things making headlines, democrat senator tom harken of iowa telling the associated press he will not seek re-election in 2014. 73-year-old said his departure will allow a new generation of democrats to seek higher office. senator harken played a leading role in urging the senate to move some of his more liberal members to back the 2010 health care bill. today president obama is outlining several priorities in
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his weekly address. >> it means encouraging businesses to create more jobs and pay higher wages and improving education and job training so that more people can get the skills that businesses are looking for. it means reforming our immigration system and keeping our children safe from the menace of gun violence. and it means bringing down our deficit in a balanced way by making necessary reforms and asking every american to pay their fair share. >> meanwhile, republicans stressing their agenda today as well. cutting spending. >> our nation's total debt is now larger than our entire economy. this means that every man, woman and child owes a $53,000 share of this debt. that level of spending is unsustainable. a major credit rating agency has already downgraded our nation's credit once. and if we don't start making some real progress on spending reforms, more downgrades are likely in the near future. >> about eight minutes past the hour now. live look this is happening in washington, d.c. as we speak.
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this is happening really across the country. one of the main ones, this is a rally for gun control taking place in washington, d.c. people there are rallying for stricter gun laws. you know this has been the big debate in the country since the shooting, the killing of all those children in newtown, connecticut at their elementary school. you're seeiie seeing eleanor ho. expecting residents of newtown, connecticut to play a role in this march today. we don't have a wider shot of how many people turned out. march happening going to keep an eye on it there in washington, d.c. series of demonstrations coming now one day after vice president biden was in virginia trying to gain support for the administration's gun safety measures. the white house getting ready for a legal battle, another legal battle after a federal appeals court ruled that president obama violated the constitution when making recess appointments for a labor relations panel last january. nbc's kristen welker at the
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white house. always good to see you. hello and tell us how big of a setback is this for the administration? i guess what do we do next? >> reporter: great to see you as well, t.j. this is certainly a setback for the obama administration. the white house sharply criticizing this ruling and pointing to the fact that presidents going back 150 years have engaged in appointments, recess appointments. ronald reagan made more than 200. george w bush made more than 100. at issue in this instance is the senate technically in recess when they are in a pro forma session. pro forma means that senators aren't really here. they're not getting any work done. but they are gaveling into session every few days. the obama administration has argued that means that the senate is in recess. this court ruled otherwise and disagreed with the obama administration. republicans are praising this ruling. today they are saying it was the right ruling and that president obama really engaged in overreach when he made those appointments. so to your second question, t.j., what happens now, at this
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point in time the justice department not weighing in on what it will do next. but if you talk to legal analysts, they believe that the administration will take this to the supreme court. so that's what we're watching for now waiting to go hear what the justice department has to say about this. >> we also have a question of what this means for richard cordray appointed during this time, a recess appointment as well. not to the national labor relations board. but a pretty important appointment. what happens to him now? >> reporter: it's a great question. it certainly raises questions about the appointment of richard cordray, the former ohio attorney general appointed to head the consumer financial protection bureau. republicans staunchly opposed to the consumer financial protection bureau. they believe it has too much power. that is in part from president obama did make that recess appointment next year. it raises questions about cordray but doesn't really have any direct implications. we should mention, though, that cordray is the subject of an accept federal court case right
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now. t.j. >> kristen welker, always a pleasure. we're 11 minutes past the hour. right now millions of americans are struggling to get around. icy roads, sidewalks, you name it. black ice out there causing hundreds of wrecks in several states. weather channel meteorologist mike seidel has more from knoxville, tennessee. hey, mike. >> reporter: hey, t.j. here in knoxville the ice storm is now just a memory. we had nine hours of freezing rain. but as you can see here on the trees it's all gone. it all melted. in fact temperatures overnight rose into the mid 30s. but yesterday we had hundreds of accidents across kentucky here in tennessee, even north georgia and through the western carolinas. one fatality reported in upstate south carolina. but the north georgia mountains had ice and cars skidding off the roadways. the other angle with this storm is the fact that we had snow from the ohio valley all the way to the northeast. but the snowfall amounts were on the light side from columbus to pittsburgh, into washington. generally a 1 to 2 inch snowfall. philadelphia and new york central park had 1 1/2 inches of
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snow. for the first time in chicago in 335 days they had an inch of snow. so the record streak ends but they've only had now about three inches for the entire winter. it still stays very cold today across the midwest and northeast. down here we're back above 40, almost to 50 as all the ice is melted and all the power is back onto those 4,000 customers that lost power. looking ahead, another icing event on the cards for later tonight and tomorrow across parts of the midwest. we're keeping an eye on the quad cities, des moines, and even chicago on sunday afternoon. tj, back to you. >> your west coast headlines are up next with the story of a ceo who just got an 80% raise. must be nice. and a new poll what do americans think about women on the front lines? lads. [ bop ] [ bop ] [ bop ] you can do that all you want, i don't like v8 juice. [ male announcer ] how about v8 v-fusion. a full serving of vegetables, a full serving of fruit. but what you taste is the fruit. so even you... could've had a v8.
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we're at 16 minutes past the hour now. headlines making news on the west coast, "san francisco chronicle" has a front page story. gays no longer taboo on the hill. it's about how the 113th congress includes a lesbian in the senate and six openly gay and by sexual members in the house. as their nems numbers gradually increase there's some sense among the newcomers they are forcing some colleagues to rethink gay rights and homosexuality. seattle times has a story about starbucks boosting ceo howard schultz's pay by 80%. 80%. he was paid $28.9 million in total compensation for the fiscal year that ended in september. the board just wanted to say thank you, reward him for the company's performance over the past several years. well, a new poll finds that
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the nation is strongly in support of the pentagon's announcement this week that women will now be able to serve in combat roles in the military. gallup report said 74% of people are in favor of the decision. those numbers hold up when you break them down by men and women as well. let me bring in democratic congress woman loretta sanchez, senior female member of the house armed services committee and homeland security committee. thank you so much for being here with us. why now is this time right time to do this? is it overdue would you say? is there something about it happening right now that's good timing? >> well, t.j., i've been fighting for about the last five or six years with a bill in the house to recognize what we already know. our women have been fighting in iraq and afghanistan. there is no frontline. everywhere is the frontline. they've been in combat. they've been killed. they're p.o.w.s. they've been wounded. and yet they have never received
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the recognition north pay nor the promotions due to the fact that they would be in combat. so it's long overdue in my opinion. >> does this i guess the timing now we have two wars winding down. essentially iraq and then you still have afghanistan winding down, i should say. is there something about that that will help the american people i guess stomach our american young women, to hear about them being on the front lines and dying? and also the nature of war change. like you said there's not really a frontline anymore. so does that help as well in terms of americans being so supportive in your opinion? >> well, i think what's important and what americans have seen is that everybody probably knows now a woman that has served in iraq or afghanistan. and they've come back and they've told their stories. and they have said we were right there. we were doing everything that everybody else was doing.
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so as i tell people, women should have an equal opportunity to have some of those slots that we consider combat-oriented. and they've been held back. they've been held back by a ban on women being able to be there, even though in reality they have been there. so i don't know that it's about stomaching. i think americans understand that about 20% of the people who went to iraq and afghanistan were women. they certainly saw them on television. for example, they saw jessica lynch be the first p.o.w., woman p.o.w. in iraq. so i think they've gotten used to understanding that women really are playing important roles in the military and that the military needs them. that we as a country need women. because they have good skills. those who compete for combat roles will be physically up to the mettle on that. so i think america's ready for it.
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>> let me let you listen to major m.j.hagar wounded in combat in afghanistan. she's also one of the plaintiffs in the aclu's lawsuit against the pentagon. let you listen to her and we'll talk about it on the other side. >> everybody wanted to make it a debate about whether or not women should be in combat. when the actual issue was that women are in combat. they're serving in combat. they're engaging the enemy, acting with valor, serving and not being recognized. i don't mean recognized with awards, with the correct job title that will get them promoted. >> i think that's kind of key what you were hitting on there. we have the big announcement next week. how soon before we see things actually change? what's the timetable for putting things in place to where, all right, they do start getting that recognition they so deserve? >> certainly the joint chiefs and it was a unanimous decision along with the secretary of defense, leon panetta, laid out for the services that every role
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should try to be open. and if the services decide that their particular roles, particular jobs that they just for whatever reason that women wouldn't meet the qualifications, they can ask for an exemption. but the reality is that everything is on the table now. and they also said this will take awhile to do. and we're going to phase it in. some places will be easier. in some particular roles we've seen women over and over in the commanders have seen them there. they'll say hey, you know, this one's ready to go now. and in others we need to take a look at what it takes to do those jobs. and maybe for awhile, especially these last ten years, we've been so busy fighting wars that we haven't taken a look and said, what are the real qualifications for that job? so i think the services will be taking a look at are they the right qualifications right now? do we need to change those qualifications? what's really required to do that job? and i would add this.
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even though we may change the job description, the reality is that women will have to meet the same standard as men. and that's very important. we are not asking people to lower the standard. it's still important to have the right person in the right job. not every woman makes a good soldier. but you know what? not every man makes a good soldier, either. and so we'll set the standards, and over three years, by january of 2016, this should have already been phased in and done and implemented. >> well, congresswoman sanchez, i know this is a fight, somebody you have been talk about and fighting for for quite some time. i know it's a proud time for you. we appreciate you taking some time with us this morning. you have a good weekend out there in california, all right? >> thank you, t.j. thank you. one big name democrat this morning announces he is not running for senate. we'll talk to one of our colleagues about that. also number three on our first five web stories. banning welfare recipients from
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buying lottery tickets. that's a legislation north carolina lawmakers will soon introduce. republicans say congressman paul stands says playing the lottery takes away money provided for the barest necessities. politicians admit it would be hard for store clerks to know exactly who's receiving public assistance. i have low testosterone. there, i said it.
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[ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! slap! ] ow! ow! [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium-rich tums starts working so fast you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums closer to the bottom of the hour. now the great blizzard of 1978. it was a rare severe blizzard that hit the ohio and great lakes region with heavy snow and winds up to 100 miles per hour. the snow drifts were so high they nearly buried some homes. the storm hit 35 years ago today. here's david brinkley on the nbc nightly news on the aftermath. >> the blizzard that began in the northern plains and swept across the midwest and toward the east, governor rhodes of ohio said today it was the greatest disaster in ohio's history.
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it has closed down highways, railroa railroads, electric lines, snowdrifts driven by the wind up to 15 feet high. >> to this day the storm is still considered the worst blizzard in ohio and indiana history. time now for today's list of number once. first the place where president obama scored his biggest election victory. that's shannon county, south dakota. where business week points out that the president received 93% of the vote. that's the highest percentage of any county in the country. also deep in the heart of texas. the capital city of austin leads a new list of best cities for job seekers. nerd wallet.com it sites austin's high median income, low-cost of living and growing tech industry for the top ranking. and the nation's capitol comes in second with a high income but a high cost of living, san francisco, denver, houston complete the top five. i was cold. i stayed in the house all day. >> oh, my gosh. it is so cold.
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>> standing outside my fingers felt like they were going to fall right off. it is that cold. >> it is that koechltd americans dealing with the coldest stretch of winter so far. for those who want to think outside the ice box maybe farmer's almanac has a list of the five best winter getaway destinations. topping that list, key west, florida takes the top spot. just look at that. temperatures in the 70s. plenty of sunshine. relatively little rain. san diego first runner-up. phoenix comes in third. and just about any of those sound pretty good right about now. especially for the folks who work on on "weekends with alex witt" who came to work when it was about 15 degrees this morning. in america today we're running out of a vital resource we need to compete on the global stage. what we need are people prepared for the careers of our new economy. by 2025 we could have 20 million jobs without enough college graduates to fill them. that's why at devry university,
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we're teaming up with companies like cisco to help make sure everyone is ready with the know-how we need for a new tomorrow. [ male announcer ] make sure america's ready. make sure you're ready. at devry.edu/knowhow. ♪ [ male announcer ] born from the elements, destined to take them over. ♪ the sirius xm satellite radio in the 2013 ram 1500. engineered to move heaven and earth. guts. glory. ram. the new ram 1500. motor trend's 2013 truck of the year.
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i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is! vaga had no tolerance for such dastardly deeds. finally... [ male announcer ] when you combine creamy velveeta with zesty rotel tomatoes and green chilies, you get a bowl of queso that makes even this get-together better. we're at the bottom of the hour now. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." she is off right now. i'm t.j. holmes. developing now tom harken's announcement he will not seek
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re-election in 2014. iowa senator released a statement a short time ago saying he wants to spend more time with his family. said "when the current congress is over i will have served in the united states house of representatives and the u.s. senate for a total of 40 years. after 40 years i just feel it's somebody else's turn." now this comes a day after georgia republican senator saxby chambliss announced he won't seek re-election in 2014 as well. senator carton is a democrat from maryland. he also sits on the senate foreign relations committee. he joins me now. i want to get your reaction to both of those statements. it was chambliss who said the charged nature of d.c. these days, it's just so poe lliticiz. he cited that for a reason not to seek re-election. >> t.j. first it's good to be with you. in regards to senator hark in, he has been the champion for our children, champion for our seniors, champion with those with disabilities. he will be deeply missed.
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i can tell you in the democratic caucus and deeply missed in the united states snas. senator chambliss has been one of those who's reached across party line to come up with ways that we can deal with our fiscal issues. i know both will still be in the senate for the next two years. but both valuable members of the united states senate. so i think the news was not surprising because we knew these days would be coming. but these are two individuals who have contributeded a great deal to the work of the senate. >> i wish we could get a democrat to speak that kindly about a republican when he's not retiring from the senate. let's go, too, on that point he said that the nature of washington, d.c., he kind of cited that. let's go to what we saw with hillary clinton giving testimony up on capitol hill this week about benghazi. there were some heated exchanges. there is no doubt many republicans took this opportunity to really go at senator clinton -- excuse me secretary clinton the best they
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could and get their shots in. what was your reaction to some of the line of questioning from some of your republican colleagues? for you was it just to be expectsed or did any of is surprise you? >> secretary clinton did such a great job explaining all the issues. it was a horrible tragedy. we all know that. i think secretary clinton really outlined the facts very clearly, showed where the responsibility, where changes need to be made. there were a couple senators who i thought went over the top as far as their questions were concerned. but senator clinton handed herself very, very well. >> who went over the top in your opinion? >> i mean, the accountability review board made it very clear who was responsible. those individuals were held accountable. a couple of the senators sort of implied that there was accountability beyond that. also there was the issue of what went on the week after the benghazi attack and the comments made or the weekly shows. i thought that just is missing the whole point. the whole point was that as
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secretary clinton pointed out, there was a tragedy, a loss of life. we want to make sure people are safe, that those who still were in harm's way, and to immediately take the steps necessary to protect our personnel around the world and to find out what happened and hold-to make the change necessary. and that's exactly what she did. what view do you take? you're talking about the probably got most play on media, online as well, when she clearly was agitated and said, what difference does it make? you're still going back and saying we didn't have the information right about exactly -- we didn't know who these guys were and what their motives were at the time. it's more important at that time to still figure out who was responsible. we got the investigation going on. that heated exchange. but when she said it, when you heard her say, what difference does it make? what is the point? did you not take any issue with that? or i should ask, how did you read it when she said it? did you agree with her 100%? isn't there a point to us needing to know who was behind
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this at that time and getting the right information out to the american people? >> well, we weren't going to find that information out in the first 48 hours or 72 hours. our immediate concern is the safety of americans. our immediate concern is to take steps to protect those who still could be in harm's way. it was not just benghazi. there were other missions in that region of the world where there were activities taking place that challenged the security. we had to take care of the immediate concerns. and it was important for the secretary of state to make sure that there was an independent evaluation done, and that some of the questions that were asked would have challenged whether the secretary should have gone the involved and started asking her own questions rather than letting the independent people interview the people who were on the ground. so i thought she did a great job in explaining all this. look, it was a tragedy, a loss of life. this is a hot spot of the world. there's inherent danger. we want to make sure that our people are protected. and i think that there's just
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been an overattention to the first 48 hours as far as the response. the president said initially that terrorists were involved. and we tried to be as open as he possibly could with the american people. but the information was evolving. >> last thing here quickly for me, did you take issue -- one of your senator johnson, senator ron johnson of wisconsin actually suggested that she was faking emotion to get out of answering questions. what does something like that from one of your colleagues say to you, say to the rest of us? is this just par for the course in politics or did that go too far as well? >> i think again secretary clinton has handled all this -- there's a reason why her approval rates are as high as they are. she has served our nation with great distinction. what i said during the hearing, t.j., is that she's made the world a little bit smaller. people around the world understand america better. and as a result this world is a little bit safer as a result of secretary clinton's activities. and i think almost all the members of the united states senate agree with that. >> senator ben cardin of
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maryland who i will be accompanying to the super bowl here in just a week. >> go ravens. >> senator cardin, thank you so much. good to see you. have a good weekend. going to have the representative of california on. i'll be saying go niners. what do you do? 38 minutes past the hour now. office politics with chris matthews. chris's take on a potential faceoff between the vice president and hillary clinton. but first number four on our first five web stories. apple no longer the world's most valuable company. the tech giant's slumping stock prices dragged it from the prestigious position. the move allows ex on mobile to regain the top spot. right now oil company is worth 5 billion more dollars than apple. s here at the hutchison household. but one dark stormy evening... she needed a good meal and a good family. so we gave her purina cat chow complete. it's the best because it has something for all of our cats! and after a couple of weeks she was part of the family. we're so lucky that lucy picked us.
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hillary clinton for the democratic presidential nomination in 2016. chris talks like a proud pop about his three kids and first grandchild. alex talked to him about his passion for politics. >> there's two parts of politics they find great. one is the predictable part of it. that's what i write rules about. there seems to be the politicians always get in trouble for the same things. for getting the people at home. getting too washington, getting too high hat. when they do get in trouble. the left and the right fights are predictable. incumbency is always a tricky thing. then there's the phenomenal. black president. because this one guy could do it. i don't think many other people could have done it. so we in the political commentary didn't think up barack obama. he came to us. i remember saying when i first saw him, just saw your first black president right there. it didn't take much of a genius to figure that out. you saw him and heard him. the immigrant story because of
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his father being from another part of the world. the phenomenon of reagan, another guy that came out of nowhere, who was laughed at. and did work his way up through the system. the mondales and the doles are never going to be that exciting. even the mccains. the exciting politicians are the ones that come out of nowhere and excite the country. and i think obama and reagan are that way. who would have thought that joe biden could have marshalled a presidential campaign? he's doing it right as we speak. he looked very good yesterday. he's likable. if ""saturday night live"" doesn't destroy him, which they might because they did it to jerry ford, he could make it. in fact, hillary must be thinking -- secretary clinton must be thinking i got to fight joe. they'll be really hating me because everybody likes him. that fight coming. once you announce you're going to do something you can't bow out. it's pride. what would be his reason for
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bowing out? she's better than him? you think he's going to admit that? >> no. >> why should he? who says he is? the hillary people will. each one has a president behind them. >> ah. >> bill clinton wants this probably more than anybody on the planet, more than joe biden or anybody else wants it. because it's his resurrection. it says everything that happened to him in 1998 was wrong. he was wronged. and he came back and the public brought him back to prove to the republicans that he was wronged. do you understand? this is very important. bill clinton -- otherwise if he doesn't get his wife re-elected bill clinton will go down as a guy that was basically impeached and ended with a tainted record. but it's really going to be up to her. she's a brilliantly talented person. she's going to decide. she's talk about phenomenons. >> i have to ask you about being a new grandfather. >> you can tell my son's a great father.
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i can tell the way he holds the baby. >> where do you think he got that from? >> i don't think i was as good. i think he's great. he holds the baby like this and the baby just lies there like this strong arm. >> michael just went out to sundance for the festival. >> that's his world. we're very proud of him. >> as well you should be. >> that's what he does. >> what about your actor son? how great he's on the news room. >> he has a part that appears every week. he's always on the set. and he's working on getting more lines. doing what he can. he looks great. he looks like a movie star. >> what about your daughter? she's heading out to san francisco. >> she's in san francisco as a google person. and she worked her way up through the -- worked in the boston office. it's almost like getting a rhodes scholarship working for google. she talks about the sales she pulls off and cold calling and millions of dollars of business. i said how do you make these sales? she says i just act like i've will ever made the close. i said i don't know how to do
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that. >> more at this time. chris gives alex a timeline in which president obama can get the items on his ambitious agenda accomplished. plus we'll get a preview of the book chris is writing on two political adversaries who shared a famous friendship, ronald reagan and tip o'neal. now number five on our first five web stories, you can soon call tina turner the swiss miss? the 73-year-old is going to turn in her american passport in exchange for one from switzerland. swiss officials need to approve this whole thing first, however. but the tennessee native has been living in a zurich suburb since 1995. turner said she feels at home there and cannot imagine a better place to live. [ bop ] [ bop ] [ bop ] you can do that all you want, i don't like v8 juice. [ male announcer ] how about v8 v-fusion. a full serving of vegetables, a full serving of fruit. but what you taste is the fruit. so even you... could've had a v8. looks like you're in a pickle.
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about 10 minutes off the top of the hour. in today's strategy talk, the liberal gloves are off. >> the free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.
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the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. revamp our tax code. reduce the cost of health care. medicare and medicaid and social security. they do not make us a nation of takers. the threat of climate change. sustainable energy sources. our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks. seneca falls and selma and stonewall. earn a living equal to their efforts. our gay brothers and sisters welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants. the quiet lanes of newtown. >> joining me now, msnbc contributor jimmy williams and former rnc chairman and msnbc analyst michael still. gentlemen good to see you both. jimmy let me start witd you immediately. a lot of people criticized the president's speech. to be expected to some degree. did that sound like hey i won you lost. this is how it's going to be? >> i hate to break the news to people but that is exactly what happened. i went back this morning and
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looked at reagan's second inaugural and george bush jr.'s second inaugural. reagan talked about economics and the role of government. bush, terrorism, liberty and defense, okay? so i guess those must have been really really really radically conservative inaugural speeches. because obama's must have been radically liberal. i don't buy either of those arguments. i think inaugural speeches are meant to be lofty, 30,000 word speeches about the country. so just because barack obama said gay people. i know a lot of gay republicans that. doesn't make them liberal. >> michael, the president won. and i know people often talk about i know you said as well this is a center right country. are we still a center right country? we keep re-electing -- >> i think in large measure we are. polls have shown that yeah, there's some changing attitudes on marriage, for example, and on guns. but i think by and large the country does find itself particularly when it comes to
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the fiscal management of the country as a much more center right perspective. but i would agree with jimmy. i think that this speech was in many respects it was a hey, i won speech. and you know, i now feel that i can speak to the more loftier goals of leadership. and at the end of the day, the president is going to lay out his agenda in his state-of-the-union. so the inaugural will fade to the annals of history but it will be the agenda that comes from the state-of-the-union in a couple of weeks that will really tell us the direction the president wants to take a second term. >> jimmy, what's actually doable in there? like he just termed it an i won speech. what's actually doable? because folks like yourselves, you political analysts, all this stuff he has like, what a year, a year and a half to get something done. at most two years. because at that point we're into the mid-term elections. we have a divided government. let's be brutally honest about it. the house is run by the republicans narrowly. the senate is run by democrats.
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and if you take what he said at face value, which is he's going to do something on climate change. he's going to do something on tax reform. et cetera, et cetera. by the way, he didn't mention guns. and how do you get any kind of a gun bill through a gop-led house and a democratically-led smat when you have a ton of red state democrats that are up for re-election? it's very hard to do those kinds of things. i think the president can be as liberal as he wants. he is to a degree and michael may agree with me on this, he is now to a degree freed to be more liberal. but he's also going to have to push an agenda with two caucuses that aren't always going to be liberal. it's going to be very hard for him frankly. >> it's also difficult the road ahead, michael, a lot of people for republicans. the republicans have been meeting, they've been having strategy sessions trying to figure out how to almost rebrand the party in such a way as far as perception. and a part of that has to do
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with immigration reform. some are saying they're not trying to rebrand the party but change the rules of the game. what do you think of this idea? it might just be it looks bad. it looks like you're sore losers and trying to change the electoral college in how we apportion those electoral votes. >> i agree with the words of governor bob mcdonald of virginia who said when asked about this process of allowing the presidential electoral college votes to be determined by who wins on the congressional district level as opposed to state-wide. our system is just fine as it is. and i think any tinkering in this regard that comes across for the american people as sore loser, trying to change the rules of the game, the rnc's come out and endorsed this. i think that is not a very smart approach to take. because if people perceive this as a power grab, you can't win any other way but by cheating or changing the rules, then everything -- all the branding that you're meeting and trying to do now means nothing.
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>> and i know that's good advice. i know they listen to michael steele. >> used to. t.j., they did for two years and they won. >> look at that. take that, rnc. >> michael is right. nobody likes a cheater. nobody likes a cheater. if it looks like you're trying to level the playing field in an unfair way you're not leveling the playing field, you're bringing everybody down with you. that's not okay with america. >> jimmy, what happens if the gop gets it together? because bobby jindal, he made a pretty blunt speech not too long ago. he said stop being stupid. he said we've got to ease some of these stances on immigration, social policies. this is what we need to do. what if they start listening? the gop gets it together? what if they ease the stands on immigration? putting something together bipartisan possibly with comprehensive immigration reform. how much trouble would democrats be in? >> i think the democrats need to stay exactly where they are when it comes to the issue of the gender gap, 18 points, the
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latino gap 15 points, the african-american gap 80 points. the gay gap off the charts. listen it's simple. when you take away people's civil rights or say no to them you're not with them. if you're in a country club of 100 white men and they start dying off, your base is dead. the republican party, michael is right. he tried to do that when he was the chairman. you have to expand your base. only way to do that is to get out of people's houses, to get out of their bed rooms. to leave them alone. and have basically a society which is fair and equitable. don't forget mitt romney talked about the 47%. that is not the way to go about it. they have to look for it. >> last thing you hear, michael. you and i have had these conversations your relationship with the rnc. republican and out there fighting for what you believe in do you see this as i mean for the first time in awhile maybe a good chance and maybe just the drumming in the election with the president winning re-election. do you think republicans are starting? are you seeing signs that maybe
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it's hopeful in your opinion they're starting to change some of those stances and things you pushed and fought for? this is a hopeful thing for a republican like yourself? >> i think it is a hopeful thing. i go back to the list that you put out there whether it's immigration, whether it's various forms of tax reform, et cetera. the leadership moving in one direction and saying this is now how we're going to do this and how we're going to brand it is one thing. how they express it and explain it and get the grassroots, the activists, the tea party supporters of the party behind that movement is going to matter. so it's not just enough to have a meeting and come out with a document. you're going have to have the buy in from your grassroots, your activists in order for this thing to work. >> michael steele, always good to see you. jimmy william, thank you both. as we get close to the hour ahead we'll show you a preview of a rare joint interview with president obama and his secretary of state, hillary clinton. treatment as prilosec o. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor.
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we're at the top of the hour now. hello to you all. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." i'm t.j. holmes in for alex. 1:00 in the east, 10:00 out west. wherever you are we are glad you're right here. developing now democratic senator tom harken of iowa said he's stepping down. he will not seek re-election next year. he was instrumental in urging senators to back the 2010 health care bill. on the phone nbc news capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. why does he not want to continue in the senate? >> it's always interesting, t.j., to take a look at the motivations behind these big moves because they have huge implications. tom harken said there are two reasons. at the end of this term he will have served the people of iowa for 40 years. he believes it's time to let someone else step in he thinks that's good for his state. he also talks about making a
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promise to his wife ruth that they would be able to live together and do the kind of things they have wanted to do. as you remember, people who are in congress often live apart from their spouse for at least part of year. and many of them, especially those who have served for a long time when we have conversations in the hallways do talk about the very simple desire to spend more time with their family. that's often a buzz phrase in washington that people think is being used to step aside. in tom harkin's case it seems to be a simple equation of he feels it's time. why? because as a democrat he is in the majority. he is a powerful chairman of a committee. he has about $3 million in his campaign war chest. so he has the tools. what it does do right now is put into play a state that has as its other senator a republican, chuck grassley. there are republicans in their house representation. and it's a state that has supported president obama.
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it's one of those states that's highly sought after. in talking with people from the committee that runs these campaigns for senate democrats, what they are grateful about is the early notice. because tom harkin is giving them a little less than two years to make this happen they think they can field a candidate. we've seen others, jay rockefeller of west virginia has also made the decision he will not run. just friday we heard from a republican of georgia, saxby chambliss, who was the biggest surprise that he is not going to seek re-election. in this case he did cite the gridlock in washington, the frustration about not being able to get enough done. those are three formidable names in the u.s. senate who will not be there after 2014. so it will change the makeup of things. it makes the senate races, there will be 35 seats in 2014. it begins to already feel campaign energy going.
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>> you certainly understand it better than most covering capitol hill. but the power he wields and the influence. you talked about implications. just how much will he be missed, that influence and just understanding the senate? he talked about some of the committees he's on and influence those real world implications. >> seniority is one of the great currencies in the u.s. senate. we have seen a lot of seniority begin to dissipate. went you have somebody with 40 years in congress like tom harkin that's a lot of concentrated power. he said he wants to work on issues that are very important to progressive democrats. the enforcement and full implementation of the president's health care law. doing more to protect workers' pensions which is always an issue as the economy is in struggle. and he works as an appropriate rater those who help decide where the funds are going. he's promising his state he'll work very hard on that. so he is at a point in his mid
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70s where he's not going to work as hard. he says he won't leave public life but he's going to make this shift. when we see these power changes it really does have implications to the kinds of bill that is get passed or don't get passed to the sort of centers of gravity in congress. so for people who enjoy politics, this is a very interesting development. >> kelly o'donnell with the breakdown for us. thank you so much. new today we're hearing new details about a rare joint interview for president obama and secretary of state hillary clinton. take a look at it there. the "60 minutes "interview will air on cbs tomorrow night. let me bring in kristen welker on this. was this kind of sister price to folks hearing they were sitting down together? the president doesn't give joint interviews. >> reporter: it's a surprise in the sense that president obama and secretary clinton have never done a joint interview. this is the president's first joint interview with anyone other than the first lady. so certainly a big deal in that sense. this interview will undoubtedly
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fuel speculation about 2016. the optics good for secretary clinton because it's coming on the heels of that tough week that she had when she testified before congressional committees about the terrorist attack against the u.s. consulate in benghazi. president obama has said he wanted to do this interview to publicly thank secretary clinton. here's a little snippet of that interview. >> i think hillary will go down as wouldn't finest secretary of states we've had. it has been a great collaboration over the last four years. >> a few years ago it would have been seen as improbable. because we have that very long, hard, primary campaign. i worked very hard but i lost. and then president obama asked me to be secretary of state. and i said yes. and why did he ask me and why did i say yes? because we both love our country. >> reporter: t.j., my sources here at the white house tell me the two have a very strong working relationship. and also share a sense of humor. so it's not uncommon for them to make each other laugh and others laugh who are in the room with
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them. that certainly is something that folks will be looking for when that interview airs on sunday. t.j.? >> kristen welker for us at the white house. thank you as always. joining me now political reporter for reuters and national correspondent. thank you both for being here. the president are highlighting his priorities today in his weekly address. let me take a quick listen and i'll bring you both in. >> it means encouraging businesses to create more jobs and pay higher wages and improve education and job training so more people can get the skills the businesses are looking for. it means reforming our immigration system and keeping our children safe from the menace of gun violence. and it means bringing down our deficit in a balanced way by making necessary reforms and asking every american to pay their fair share. >> all right. andy, that's a lot of stuff. we're talking about guns, education, job training, immigration, the deficit. so andy, what does he have time -- what on that list can he
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reasonably and feasibly get done? >> things look good with immigration reform. republicans are interested in that as well. when it comes to gun violence he's been able to do some stuff through executive order. he might be able to get like expanding background checks through congress as well. deficit reduction is going to be a challenge. look at the language he used. he talks about necessary reforms. that hints that he might do things like restructure medicare and medicaid which will be tough for democrats. fair share that's sort of code for raising taxes on the rich. republicans have already agreed to that once. it will be very hard to get them to do that again. final lit first thing he talked about encouraging businesses to create more jobs and pay better wages, i mean that's just going to take time. they'll be paying better wages when the economy improves and americans upgrade their skill set. that's not something that's going to happen overnight. maybe we'll see some improvement over the four years. >> all right, chris. they are laying out on the other
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side republicans what they'd like to do. let's listen and i'll bring you in. >> our nation's total debt is now larger than our entire economy. this means that every man, woman and child owes a $53,000 share of this debt. that level of spending is unsustainable. a major credit rating agency has already downgraded our nation's credit once. if we don't start making some real progress on spending reforms, more downgrades are likely in the near future. >> all right, chris. we've got sequestration coming, we've got the debt ceiling coming again we have to deal with in may. your article, this is a heck of a title, once unthinkable severe spending cuts now seem plausible, how so? >> t.j., what we saw in the congress was a few years ago they put together such big budget cuts, $1.2 trillion in cuts split 50-50 between military spending and domestic spending. and those were so big that everybody agreed at the time that there was no way we would
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do kind of this across the board budget ax. we're going to come back, we're going to rethink this and we're going to try to get those savings in a more -- in a smarter way. and that hope as it were is pretty much shot now when you talk to the republicans and democrats in the congress. republicans believe many of the deficit hawks out there believe this is the best chance they have for cutting spending. it's going to become law on march 1st. it's already on the way to taking effect. and democrats are happy to replace some of those cuts, particularly in the military side, but they want to do it with tax increases which republicans have said no way. so you have the two camps once again at logger heads on how to do this. many folks are saying maybe we just let this go into effect and we figure out if we can get a budget together that would smooth some of these rough edges out. but when you look at the house controlled by republicans and the senate controlled by democrats, those spending priorities are very different. so even if we get a budget out of both those bodies, whether
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they can come together and avoid these huge cuts is really unclear at this point. >> coming together, andy, there seems to be some bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform. are we talking about what we hear from the president and out of the white house and what we're hearing from republicans, namely senator rubio in trying to put something together with other senators? it sounds like they're not too far off. a couple of things the president might be able to take on. >> the reform looks like one that is possible. >> yeah. the republicans recognize they really need to make up a lot of ground with the latino community. and one way to do that is by addressing comprehensive immigration reform. there's going to be a pretty big sticking point on what you do with the 11 million who are already here illegally. president obama's laid out a path to citizenship where they'd pay fines and back taxes, et cetera. a lot of republicans might object to that. but if i could i'd like to go back to something chris said about these steep spending cuts. i've spoken to a lot of people
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who really are familiar with the nuts and bolts of the budget and how actual lit money gets spent. they say that with the caps that are in place right now, with inflation cutting into those and with population growth, the only way you can really cut spending is p by doing things like firing people at the fbi. because veteran spending is going to increase automatically. president obama wants to spend more on education. that's tough. so these cuts go into effect, but they might find very quickly that it's very difficult to actually implement them. >> last thing here to you, chris, we're hearing about a couple of senators not going to be -- not going to seek re-election. talking about harkin, saxby chambliss. chambliss cited the gridlock in washington as part of the reason him wanting to step away. get your reaction to both of these men not seeking re-election. and also what are your thoughts on chambliss actually citing what's happening in washington as part of the reason for him wanting to get out of there? >> i think what we're seeing right now is a generational change in washington. chambliss and harkin and guys
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like that are part of that change. and it's interesting particularly in chambliss's case as you point out he does cite the partisan gridlock. but he's also part of that old republican guard. he's very close friends with house speaker john boehner for example. i think you're going to see as the republican party changes some of these old guard republicans leaving the senate for obvious reasons, it's no fun to be in the minority. you don't get anything done. and looking at another couple of years of that is not very appealing. and it's part of what the republicans are doing is trying to figure out who are they going to be as a party. and as these elder statesmen leave, it creates the ability for guys like marco rubio and newer players on the scene like ted cruz from texas, for instance, to help shape that party. >> all right. andy sullivan, chris press, gentlemen, thank you both. just ahead she's a woman at the center of the firestorm over
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can i be honest with you? i am bad news. i'm not your friend. i'm not going to help you. i'm going to break you. any questions? >> that's a scene from "zero dark thirty," the film about finding an killing osama bin laden. in it a number of controversial torture scenes. kathy big low the director of the film is now answering critics about the torture sceneses in a new interview with "time" magazine. jessica winter is the arts editor at "time" magazine that
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conducted that interview. she is here with me now. thank you for being here. how does she respond to the controversy? >> she was expecting a controversy for sure. i don't think she was expecting the volume and vehemence of the controversy. she stands by the film whole-heartedly. she says depiction is not endorsement. by depicting these scenes she wasn't necessarily making a statement about the ethicsy of torture or morality of torture. >> i guess questioning the accuracy, some members of congress are saying it didn't really happen like that. it's not really right. what does she say there? at some point weren't she and the filmmakers talking about it was a work of journalism and a work of fiction. we took editorial liberties. how does she handle that balancing act? >> i spoke with former cia director michael hayden to the film. he felt the torture scenes
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inflated the abuses at guantanamo and abu graib with what went down at the cia black sites. there have been other criticisms. kathryn big low and mark bull, her screenwriter and a journalist himself stand by the reporting. >> any politics, her own politics? some republicans coming out and saying it's opposed to show this in a better light or show this. she's not endorsing but she's trying to make some kind of a political statement about torture and the way we went about things, the u.s. goes about its business. did she say any of her personal politics creep into this movie at all? >> she calls herself a pacifist. she says that torture is reprehensible. she has a very matter of fact dispassionate film making style. she doesn't make message movies. she's not going to underline or italicize. i think she leaves a lot of space for the viewer to make up
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her own mind. i think that space is what has allowed so much controversy to leak into the frame. i mean, every film is in the eye of the beholder. but this film is really in the eye of the beholder. >> you're telling me she is a filmmaker first and foremost. this has been a part of the national debate for the past ten years. for her this was about making a film. she wasn't trying to get a national dialogue started. she was trying to make a good film. >> i think that is absolutely correct. i think she and mark bull welcome the conversation that has happened around the film. >> a lot of people cautioned as well, how did she get such good information? did she speak on what her sources were? how much access to information she got? did she get classified information? >> that i don't know. i mean, she and bull did have access and cooperation from the cia. but mark bull also had his own independent reporting. and obviously they have to be very discreet about what they got and who they got it from. and a lot of this information is still classified.
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so this is going to be debated for years or decades to come. >> well, nice to know we have access to you get you back over here since we'll be talking about this for a while. jessica winter, arts editor at "time" magazine. it's a good read. "time" magazine. thanks for being here. 21 minutes past the hour. a sneak peek of some of those long-awaited super bowl ads that's ahead. also the los angeles mayor antonio villaraigosa about the new poll on the latino vote and the gop. stay with me. but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook.
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good news, i'm so happy to be here and actually have some good news on that front. on the home front. listen, new home sales constructions through the roof this past year. up 37%. now, that usually means that prices go down. but here's the thing. there's not enough land. so prices have actually gone up 15% on new homes. existing home sales, this is very, very welcome of course to a lot of families, american families. even right now there's not a lot on the market. this is the tightest market, not enough inventory out there. since 2001 in existing homes. so we're seeing the prices of existing homes go up about 6%. so this is really good news. >> this helps us, right? out of recession. over the years in this country the houser market. >> it does. there's a lot more confidence right now in the housing market. lending is still very tight. there's still a lot of pushback in terms of appraisals and making sure the seller and buyer match up on things and the banks. so there's still some trouble there. however now there's not a lot of inventory.
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folks are moving back into the cities. we'll see what the spring holds because more people will be selling. >> poor apple. wow. poor company. they're practically broke. >> the love affair. wall street's love affair with apple is over. now they're moving into the complacent marriage mode. >> wow, okay. >> which is everything's fine. here's what happened that's really interesting. apple, the second highest quarterly earnings in the history of american business. ex on u exxon used to hold that when oil prices were so high in 2008. they still missed expectations. wall street wanted 14 million. here's the thing here's. why the profit margin is being squeezed. for the first time apple has new product on the market, ipad mini and iphone 5. but folks are still buying the 4 because it costs less. so they're seeing lower priced products on the market so their profits are getting squeezed a little bit.
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their profit are getting squeezed. they're holding onto almost $140 billion in cash. so i think they'll be okay. >> not the most valuable company out there. poor apple. they're going to be okay, aren't they? >> it's all good. >> last thing to the super bowl. the advertisers are always fun. >> i know you wanted to get to the ads. the ads you can go online right now, you can see a lot of tidbits of them, ten seconds here, ten second there. this is all creating buzz. the data is out there a lot of people are actually watching the super bowl, i'm guilty of this, for the ads an for -- >> the volkswagen one. let's roll this and i'll ask you about it on the other side. >> screaming politicians. >> on the biggest sports night of the year with countless
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millions watching uks he'll be introduced by a new spokesperson. >> hey, can you say [ expletive ] on tv? >> begin what do they do? they just get us ready? they start releasing snippets and go viral. >> volkswagen's last year. disclosure i own a new beet el. it makes me happy. here's the news that came out yesterday. blackberry just bought up ad space. this is a big deal. rim is in a lot of trouble. blackberries have gone the way of the dodo. they're coming out with the blackberry 10. they've bought ad space. we've got to see what that's about. a tremendous amount of money and really big bet for them. >> carmen, good to see you. thanks so much. coming up on the bottom of the hour, up next a possible breakthrough on capitol hill on immigration reform. how did that happen? hey, our salads. [ bop ] [ bop ] [ bop ] you can do that all you want, i don't like v8 juice.
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at the bottom of the hour now. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." i'm t.j. holmes. a new report says a bipartisan group of senior senators are close to an agreement on broad immigration reforms. the "washington post" writes that three democrats and three republicans may as soon as next friday have a plan that would normalize the status of undocumented immigrants and tighten border controls. joining me now los angeles mayor antonio villaraigosvillaraigosa. mr. mayor, thank you so much for being here. is this the moment we are going to get comprehensive immigration reform finally because it looks like there is a bipartisan effort to make this happen? >> yes, i think it is the moment. i've said since the middle of the campaign frankly we needed to get this out of partisan politics, out of campaigns, get both sides to work together. this shouldn't be a democratic or republican issue. this should be an issue that conforms with our values as americans, that addresses the
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fact that there's an economic -- a positive economic impact of $1.5 trillion to bring 11 million people from out of the dark and into the light. i think there's general agreement that there has to be a pathway to citizenship that we can't have second-class citizenship if you will, a temporary status, that we've got to united families because both parties talk about family values as important. that it's got to be earned. it's not automatic. you got to get at the end of the line. you got to have an investigation to make sure that -- back taxes. there ought to be a pathway that's comprehensive and real for these people. >> mr. mayor on that point you made got to gets get at the back of the line. right now i checked the web site this morning from the state department, essentially shows that some people especially mexicans, folks mexican immigrants who are trying to -- who are in line doing it the
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legal way, they're only processing some visa requests from 1992. 1993. these folks are doing it the legal way and they have still been waiting 20, 20 plus years. >> that's a great question. >> what do you do? >> should the folks that are here now at all get in line ahead of any of those folks? >> the answer is they have to get at the end of the line. but we've got to put more resources. you hear a lot of talk about border security. according to the migration policy institute, we have a minus net to the other way. in other words, more people are going back than coming here. we spend more money on border enforcement than we do for the fbi, the dea and the atf. all of the federal law enforcement put together. we've got to put more money and expediting these cases. you hit it right on the head. thank you for that. you can't be waiting -- it's got to be -- it's impossible. >> another poll i'm going to put a poll up here that shows that
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31% of latino and spanish votes would be more likely to vote republican if the gop took the lead on immigration reform. now, do you think it's purely politics that has brought some republicans around? or you have folks like a senator rubio right now who is really taken the lead for republicans who has a family story and a history and can certainly relate in a lot of ways to these issues in such a personal way that he's taking the lead? what do you think it is? a change of heart politically or just a change of heart? >> we are too close to i think a consensus to bring partisan politics into this. >> good point. >> i don't want to talk about anybody's motivations. i will say this. it does have to be a pathway to citizenship. it has to be comprehensive. it can't be piecemeal. it can't be temporary. we can do this together, democrats and republicans working together to conform to our values of who we are as
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americans, to be fair. as you said, and i'm glad that you asked that question, they should get at the end of the line. but that line can't take 20 years to get through. >> what, sir, is a reasonable time would you say? and i know kind of just throwing this out there. but we're talking about some people waiting 20 years. what is a reasonable amount of time for someone who is in this country your opinion illegally now and they step up, don't have a criminal record. trying to do the right thing? >> i'll tell you this. it's not 20 years and it shouldn't be 10, either. these people have been living here for a long time. let's create a pathway to citizenship that's earned, that's not automatic, but that gives these people an opportunity to aspire to work hard, to get the skills, to get an education, all the things that we want them to do to support our social security system, to create a great impetus to our economy. you know, 44% of all the small business in los angeles are
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founded, started by immigrants. i mean, that's an astounding number. 58% of l.a. households have at least one imgrant as the head of the household. these are hard-working people. these are people that want to participate in the american dream. and they will participate if we give them a shot. >> last thing here, and away from this topic but i have to ask you. you're in washington, d.c. you know, there's always people talking. always some rumors floating around here or there that possibly you could find your way into the obama administration. now, can you tell us at all? are you in any kind of conversation or talks? anybody from the administration mention to you the possibility of you joining the team? >> after chairing the democratic convention and being a national co-chair of the campaign i would be proud to work for and with president obama. but i'm focused on issues like immigration and guns. we need to push for and support very important safe responsible
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gun legislation likes an assault weapons ban, universal background check, the straw buyers and gun trafficking. i'm focused on my job right now. we'll see what happens when it's all over. >> sounds like you're open to the possibility? >> t.j., i'm focused on the job. >> focused but if the phone rings. mr. mayor -- >> you're good. >> -- i do appreciate your time, sir. thanks so much and look forward to talking to you down the road. >> thank you, you, too. 40 minutes past the hour. time now for today's fast five headlines. the "new york times" says the obama administration is considering supplying france with refueling planes in the fight against al qaeda linked attacks in mali. also this hacking group you've heard the name before probably. called anonymous. the group now says it hijacked the web site of the u.s. sentencing commission today to avenge the death of aaron schwartz. he's the internet activist who committed suicide amid a federal
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prosecution for hacking. also actor burt reynolds is in a florida hospital getting treatment for the flu. he was admitted yesterday to intensive care suffering from severe dehydration. his manager says the actor is doing better. also singer tina turner. oh, no. she's not an american anymore, possibly. reportedly giving up her u.s. passport. yes, giving up her u.s. citizenship to become a citizen of switzerland. swiss papers says turner's already received local approval to become a citizen there. she has lived in switzerland with her partner, a german record executive, since the mid 90s. also check this out. fan, look at that. hit a half court hook shot in the miami heat game last night. won himself $75,000. he got a big hug there from lebron james. those are -- i just want to let this play out for a second here. that's another angle for it. those are your fast five
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headlines. all right. 40 minutes past the hour. craig melvin, i didn't see that video. that was a heck of a reaction. he got the big hug. >> let me tell you, man, that's my favorite part of that video. lebron james the king very excited for that guy. he won 75 grand. lebron made that in the first half. >> you know i was just thinking that. >> first quarter actually. >> hopefully he's going to pay for this guy's medical bills. lebron is 6'9", what 250? >> looks like he's tapping out right there, too. >> on the front lines going to talk to an iraq war veteran who changed her mind about whether women should serve in combat. also gun control. is it aimed at politics or real change? we're going to dig into what's behind the latest gun reform proposals in d.c. we will also go live to kentucky where a growing course of democrats are now saying ashley judd, please don't run. all that and the latest political headlines over the
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next few hours. straight ahead right here, the big three take on that side by side interview with president obama and hillary clinton. why did they do it? (all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama.
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time for the big three. today's topics, side by side, gaming the system, and the best week and worst week. let's bring in the big three panel. white house reporter for the washington host, democratic strategist and republican strategist and msnbc contributor susan del persio. felicia talking about side by side. president obama and secretary of state hillary clinton the first joint television interview for the president with someone other than the first lady. let's listen. >> i think hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we've had. it has been a great
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collaboration over the last four years. >> a few years ago it would have been seep as improbable. because we had that very long hard primary campaign. in politics and in democracy, sometimes you win elections, sometimes you lose elections. and i worked very hard, but i lost. and then president obama asked me to be secretary of state. and i said yes. and why did he ask me and why did i say yes? because we both love our country. >> felicia, why do you think he did it? >> i think it woulden strange, t.j., if they didn't do this interview actually. as the president himself mentioned, the reason for this is to mark the end of secretary clinton's tenure as secretary of state. so as a sort of i guess goodbye, exit interview if you will for the two of them. i think also as secretary clinton said, it is very improbable when you look at the contentious primary they had four years ago. looking at the approval ratings both of them have now, this is really a win-win for both of them. clinton's approval rating is 67%
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among all mention. that's sky high. but she's been helped by her time out of the political spotlight really. so it's a good thing for president obama. it allows the two of them to come together and make that argument as she made that they're really above politics here. >> morris, no matter what she does there's going to be speculation about what does this mean for 2016. do you read anything into this joint interview having to do with her possibility of running a few years down the road? >> yeah. for sure. >> t.j., i just feel good when i see a unified strong democratic party. it makes democrats feel good. we know we don't always have the situation. as my friend susan knows. but this is a strong message that this is a job well done. it's a shift going into governing. there will be another shift between obama and clinton when she starts to run for president. so this is just the appropriate way to handle it. it feels very good as a democrat to see them together. >> what about joe though, morris? what about joe? what if he decides to get into the race in 2016? >> i think they'll find
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something else to do in 2016. >> all right. well susan, what do you think? and again, he said well duh kind of. this has to do with 2016. you see it that way as well? >> i do. just to build on what felicia said, i also see one other thing you showed in that clip, they were opponents. they ran a very hard, tough campaign and they were able to come together. i think in a way it's the president saying, i can work with people who i've run against and kind of sending a shot to republicans. we have to be able to work together. >> we're going to turn to gaming the system. felicia talking about this idea now. in several states it's come up. these are states for the most part the president won. blue states but have republican legislatures. trying to change the way we apportion these electoral votes. not winner take all. they want to set it up to where it's not winner take all. if all 50 states had done this mitt romney would be president right now not president obama. i just gave you a 50-state
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scenario. talking about a few states. it makes republicans look like they're sore losers. we can't win with the rules as they are so we're going to change the rules. >> i think absolutely there's a big potential for backlash for republicans here. this coming right on the heels of president obama's win in november would suggest that they're looking toward 2016. a lot of the governors in those states as well are going to be up in 2014. this really is that golden window of opportunity in these states. it's a lot of states, michigan, ohio, wisconsin among them. you're already seeing some efforts at the state legislative level. i do think if these rules were change thad lot of these states it could have some big repercussions. certainly democrats are already pretty vocal on this and coming out against it. i think it's just worth bearing in mind the unintended consequence it could have. you'll have candidates focusing on individual districts like president obama did back in 2008 when he won omaha's one
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electoral vote from their second congressional district. the only time in any state the electoral votes have been split. you'd see a lot more concentrated efforts in that way. state-wide races are not won by congressional district congressional district. if these seats go back to democratic control or if they shift between democratic and republican it could have -- >> a mess. we'd have another make of this and that the republican party are having all kinds of strategy sessions talking about how they're going to move forward and trying to be a more open and inclusive party, but then a story like this comes out and you don't have one state or two states, you have republican legislatures seeming to take this on and this idea now of we have to change the rules to win and it probably goes into question once again, let me give the republicans another look. they're trying to reach out and they're saying the same old tricks. >> they're so frustrating because they're so disciplined on some of these things. they should have checked with
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virginia and florida. leaders from both of those states have said we're not for this. plus, it just looks like bad cricket. you lost, move on. if you want to talk about the popular vote, that's one thing, but to go ahead and do this it just hurts the republican brand when they need to start rebuilding. >> any chance, morris -- >> look at the situation at the house of representatives where democrats actually got more votes, but republicans are in charge because they gerrymand the system. >> democrats do that, too. >> you don't win by changing the rules of the game. you have to fight for votes and you run a good race and if you lose, figure out what you did wrong and come back again. this is the problem with the republican party. when they win, they take the football. when they lose, they take the football. this is not peanuts. this is not charlie brown. this is democracy and people's lives they're playing with and this is why they'll be out of the white house for 12 years because of this silliness. >> all right.
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>> let me have the football back for a second and the big three are coming back in just a moment and we'll have the best and worst of the week. stay with us. t of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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we come back to the big three for the best of the week and the worst of the week. tell me your best and worst of the week. >> sure. you know, just so happens that i think the best week is the person that we were talking about at the beginning of the segment today, hillary clinton, secretary of state. she had what looked to be a pretty tough day on capitol hill when she testified about the debacle in benghazi, but throughout the many hours of hearings, the consensus was that she weathered that pretty well. there were a number of republicans on the house and senate sides who peppered here wi her with a lot of tough questions and there were combative moments and once the dust cleared it just seemed that the republicans right now -- excuse me, the house, all of congress right now is about the
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19% approval rating when clinton is sky high. so while it seems like they were going to try to score a couple of points against her, i don't think that they succeeded in doing that. >> all right. >> morris, your best and worst of the week? >> listen, my best goes to hillary clinton. if anyone was concerned about her fit for office, it's clear that she's fit and ready to rock 'n' roll. she'll be there and my worst goes to lip syncing. >> oh, come on! >> here ate deal. beyonce can do whatever she wants. we'll give her another chance to do it at the inauguration of hillary clinton in four years. >> oh, susan. make it stop. >> i'm trying. i'm trying. every week, i try. >> the best week, i think women had the best week because they're finally going to be recognized for something they've been doing all along which is to serve in combat and they'll be able to get promoted and move along the process. as far as the worst week was sarah palin. she lost her contract with fox news, and i think that's her
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last public avenue to commute with the public which i'm sure morris will say is a good thing. >> congratulations to fox. for the first time i'm congratulating fox for doing something right independent. >> goodness gracious. thank you all so much. and to everybody out there. thank you so much. this is it for "weekends with alex witt." i'm t.j. holmes. thank you for being with me. i'll be back tomorrow at noon eastern. up next, craig melvin. uh, i'm in a timeout because apparently
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